I'd like to preface this by saying that I am not trying to be vain in thinking that everyone on Aetolia cares about my past year or what have you, but I know some might, or do, and I wanted to put this here to tell my story to people who do care, and also so I don't have to tell it a million times.
I'm from a small town in West Virginia, and I've played Aetolia off and on since about 2003 or so, and at some point in 2007 or so, I started talking with @Erzsebet
and always wondered what it would be like to meet her. We went years with talking and not talking, and you know, in October 2019 I had a pretty big health scare, and it changed my perspective on a lot of things. I made Aeryx shortly after because I was tired of hating something I used to enjoy so much(Aetolia). Shortly after that, me and her started talking again regularly and we decided to meet up finally in March of 2020, she came and stayed with me for a week right as the pandemic was really starting up. In any case, afterwards, we decided to move in together, and she came back and I packed up what little stuff I owned into my car, and we drove across country to where she lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. The furthest I'd ever driven from home was 5 hours, and I'd never lived out of state before. It was a big step for me.
When I got here, I started out doing Doordash and Uber Eats to make ends meet and such. I decided since it allowed me to see so much of this crazy, hot as hell, desert city that I'd try to document things that I found interesting or that I'd never seen before, so in the course of that in the past year, I've managed to take 109 photos which I have shared in a Google Photos album here.
After a few months of doing Doordash, I realized I didn't really care for it as much as I thought I would out here, and she convinced me to apply for what I would call a 'real' job again. A job with breaks and lunches. Anyways, she told me about this place she tried to get on with and couldn't but thought I'd be good for it. It was called CaptionCall. I did apply and they were kinda like speechless at my 120 wpm on their typing test(Thanks 25 years of MUDs), and I managed to get hired. Now this is probably the most unique job I've ever had, but basically I sat in a cubicle at a computer with a headset, in a call queue, and when a call opens up I would say what one of the parties said verbatim into the headset, and the voice-to-text program on the computer would turn my voice into readable text on the hard of hearing customer's special caption phone. Worked there from November 2nd until June 3rd.
Now in the last month of my time here, I have to pack up my little bit of stuff again, help make sure this condo is in tip top shape before we're done, and most importantly make sure she and our two cats are okay before I move back home. We decided in December to go our separate ways again after the lease is up, and nothing really changed between us in the interim, so it's been amicable. The short of it is, and I say this knowing full well she doesn't mind, is that I thought I could handle a polyamory relationship, and I just couldn't. It's just not in me like I thought it could be.
They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. They also have a motto out here, 'Battle Born'. What happened to me in Vegas will not stay there, I will carry it all with me for the rest of my days, and I regret none of it, and it was the experience of a lifetime. I also truly learned the meaning of the phrase Battle Born. But now I return home to my tiny 9-10k population town in West Virginia, and I start focusing on my own health and well being, and trying to fix it so that I can squeeze as much life out of my heart as I can.
Lastly, I have been thinking about the podcast again. I whole heartedly admit that I could have handled it better than I did. I also did genuinely hope that Aloli could carry it on in some form or another. I am thinking about bringing it back, still. However, I think perhaps it could come back in a different format. I'm not locked in on what that format is or could be, but I think it would be fun to involve video chats, and maybe some video of gameplay in Aetolia as we do the cast to better explain what we're talking about at times, or to show new people what the game is like. In regards to the podcast, let me know if you think it'd be better to keep it as audio only or not, or if you have any other ideas. I'm also open to the idea of just producing the podcast, and having other people talk/host it.
Sorry for the long winded post, but I've had a hell of a year. I am sure all of you have as well. Lets all try together to have a hell of a year in the future again, but make it a good hell of a year. Thanks for reading.